leila khaled is a radical palestinian activist. after this photograph was taken, she underwent six cosmetic surgeries (without anesthesia, umm) so she could continue to do political work without being recognized.
khaled’s story speaks to the power of photography in creating an icon, and questions the aesthetics of leadership. does a woman need to be fetishized in order to be effective? did khaled’s accidental role as a kind of terrorist pin-up girl give her the power to enact powerful change? and what kind of female bravery does it require to reject such a glamorous position?